FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Rumor and Anger Mount in Libya

by FRANKLIN LAMB

Tripoli

This observer was stunned late last week when during a meeting in a Maghreb country with three high ranking former Libyan officials, among hundreds currently in hiding, and some organizing, in countries bordering Libya, one of them, in all earnest,  asked me,   “Do you believe there be a counter revolution  soon in the “Jamarariya [state of the masses, ie Libya]?”

The reason I was so surprised is that I was about to ask my hosts that very question.  I was thinking that with all their security and serious-faced male visitors, some western, coming and going and whispering that the reported Libyan Liberation Front groups along the Seral might be making some progress after not hearing much about them recently.

Of course I have little idea if the much talked of  ‘Green Revolution’ is strong or could topple the current NATO created and imposed government.

Certainly many complaints  can be heard today in Libya about the do-nothing “non-government” that increasingly people in all walks of life are boldly complaining about.  What I have observed personally is that nearly all the reports on events in Libya on certain internet sites are false.   This was also the case during the summer months here in Libya when patently false claims about NATO using MAP 108 Spanish manufactured cluster bombs against civilian or loyalist military targets,  NATO using depleted uranium, or that 150,000 Libyan civilians were killed were posted as truth “from reliable sources inside Libya.”  Or additionally wild claims, for example, that Misrata and other areas were always in loyalist control and that the rebels were surrendering en masse and that NATO was admitting defeat the next day.

A couple of recent false claims include a much circulated report last week that: “There are green flags flying all over Zawia and the Green Revolution has captured the town!”  Quite by coincidence the evening I read that claim on the internet, I had just come from Sorman and while en route was given a tour of the battle sites from the July-August fighting in Zawia by NTC (Transitional National Council) checkpoint minders. We observed most the intense battle sites including the Gadhafi Hotel site and various other Zawia locations.  I observed approximately 35 captured government  tanks parked along the main road and still in working condition but there was not one Green (pro-Gadhafi) flag to be seen.  I had just come from a cemetery outside of Zabratha where is saw local police/militia removing green cloth swatches from graves of some who had died during the summer fighting. Green flags if they appear in Tripoli are quickly remove and replaced with the tricolor of the NTC.

There have also been wild reports that Saif al Islam has married a Zintan tribe woman and has been seen taking walks with his captors and that they are defecting to his leadership.  According to the military commander of the Zintan militia group holding Saif, this is also nonsense and he claimed that the Zintan “brigade”  (none of the groups here like being referred to as “militia “ these days) are not preventing Saif from seeing a lawyer but that the permission must come from the Ministry of Justice in Tripoli.  Specifically,  from Mr.  Abdul Aziz Hazaii, Chief of Investigations at the MJ and the gentleman from whom this observer is currently awaiting approval to visit 11 incarcerated individuals.

All of us know that misinformation and disinformation are common during armed conflicts, often politically motivated. But such grossly exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims and conspiracy theories only aid the aggressors, in this case, NATO.

There is clear and growing pro-Gadhafi political and military activity here and it is why NTC leader Mustapha Abdul Jalil, the other day warned against the Gadhafi children raising an insurrection.  Aisha Gadhafi, given Saif’s current incarceration, is perhaps the likely leader.

Every night more pro-Gadhafi graffiti appears on street walls, buildings and around Green (Martyrs Square).  Activists, and there appear to be more every day, assert that so far the NTC has not attacked them and they feel fairly free to speak  out and even organize.  It is anyone’s guess how long this situation will exist before a violent crackdown and open fighting.

It is difficult to gage the anti-NTC/ pro-Gadhafi mix and the extent to what extent each is propelling increasingly unpredictable event in Libya.

Yet, with the elimination of Muammar Gadhafi, which was NATO’s clear intention from March 19 when it took over the UNSCR 1973 campaign against Libya, NATO correctly concluded that without Gadhafi, any “Green counterrevolution” would be very difficult. That is what we are seeing today.

 

While the restive Libyan population appears to be rebelling against the NTC for a variety of reasons, today, the urinating by NATO forces on the bodies of Afghanis is dominating the news and discussions is this pious Muslim country.  NATO has already lost much of its claimed public relations boost following its Halloween night ending of the bombing.  One suspects that this is because of an accumulation of many more recently discovered cases of NATO bombing of civilians in Libya. The population today in Libya is increasingly furious because more and more cases are coming to light concerning the high numbers of children who have been killed by NATO.

In addition to the fury caused by the urinating GIs, NATO officials are being ridiculed for all their denials that their bombing missions here in Libya, numbering more than 11,000, caused civilians deaths and their claims that NATO forces conducted themselves according to  higher moral and military standards, and sometimes put themselves at risk to avoid civilian casualties. The claims remind some of a generation of similar ludicrous public relations campaign undertaken regularly by the Israeli government.

The signs from Libya are that this country remains volatile and that contrary to NATO claims that it put into place a “new democratic Libya” that the predictable next chapter is starting to unfold that may bring the end of the NTC before the coming June elections when it is scheduled to be replaced.

FRANKLIN LAMB in doing research in Libya and can be reached c/o fplamb@gmal.com

Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University and volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (sssp-lb.com).

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail